I was cleaning out a drawer of placemats today when I came across the gem in the picture. I made it for David when he was a toddler, so that he could begin to recognize family members who were on the other side of the ocean. This is pre-Skype and FaceTime, so we actually had to look at pictures to see people.
I wanted to be able to point out his grandmother and grandfather, his aunts, uncles and cousins, calling each by name and helping him to put names with faces. This would help him to begin to realize his family was bigger than just his mom and dad.
Now as David prepares for his upcoming marriage to the beautiful Emily, I think he would appreciate a new digital placemat to share with his bride-to-be to help her get that facial recognition required for the many family members from both our tribes who will be attending their wedding. It’s worth considering, but most likely will not happen before the big day.
Looking at this 20-year-old placemat, the pictures can’t keep up with the changes in the lives of those represented. They’ve all aged and changed and, two of the most precious in this montage have even gone on to glory; yet, they are still family. They are my tribe, and I’m honored to be a part of such a special group of people.
Belonging to a group of people shapes us, gives us identity, affects who we become. Loss of family hurts, whether through death, divorce, estrangement or simply distance. Yet God has ways of allowing us to remember from where we’ve come and to appreciate the importance of family.
Family is important to our Heavenly Father, because he is the one who not only formed the first one, but allowed Jesus to be born into one as well. Jesus, as God Incarnate, could have come on his own, as a single man, appearing miraculously on this earth at any time; but he instead chose to enter in the way of all mankind — born from a woman into a family. His “roots”, though adopted, were important, because they fulfilled the great prophecies of his coming. Yet his roots did not determine who he would become nor what he would do on our behalf. That took the miraculous to fulfill.
Our roots tell our story, but they don’t determine the end. We are born into family, but we choose the source of our ultimate loyalty and thus our destiny. I choose Christ. What about you? Can I say to you, “welcome to the family?”
Grace and Peace